2014 Annual Report
It gives us much pleasure to present
this first annual report of the Hornsby Pacific Education Trust. The Trust was
set up in February of 2014 to support the volunteer project
at St Andrew’s High School, Nuku’alofa, which has been running since 2010.
2014 was a busy year for the Hornsby Trust, with a large number of practical jobs completed at the school during the winter, and considerable progress in academic and organisational assistance for the school’s leadership team and staff. The programme of support for present and past students has developed in an exciting way, and we are grateful as always to the many individuals and organisations which have supported the Trust’s work practically and financially.
Support for present and past students
In 2014, forty three students at St Andrew’s were supported through the Hornsby Trust with fees scholarships provided by individual donors in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. They are all good students from needy families, but not necessarily the brightest students academically. The scholarships enable students to stay at school when they might otherwise have to leave. As a matter of interest, about 10 other students are supported (not through the Trust) by local donors and organisations within Tonga, but these are all based on academic excellence.
Two former students were supported by the Trust to undertake further study and training in 2014. One student studied catering and hospitality at ‘Ahopanilolo, the Catholic tertiary institute in Nuku’alofa, supported by a New Zealand donor. A second student spent 2014 in New Zealand, attached to Onslow College in Wellington, New Zealand, as a music teacher intern, while undertaking private study in cornet, harmony, arranging and general musicianship. During the year he sang in the Orpheus Choir, took part in a school music trip to Sydney, and made a significant musical contribution to Tongan churches in Auckland during his school holidays. Other donors paid for a new instrument for him and made contributions to his living arrangements while in Wellington. He returned to Nuku’alofa in late January 2015 to take charge of the music at St Andrew’s and at St Matthias Church.
Building on the close relationship that St Andrew’s has with King’s College, Auckland, a scholarship has been offered to the top Year 11 student at St Andrew’s, Posesi Fanua, to spend his Years 12 and 13 at King’s College. He is a very talented student in academic subjects, sport and music, and wishes to take up a career in medicine. Posesi has now begun his 2015 academic year in St John’s House, King’s College.
Support for school leadership and teachers
The Hornsby Trust has assisted Dr Kay Hawk to continue her voluntary work of advice and development for the school’s board and leadership team, and professional development for teachers. Individual volunteers have also contributed to teacher development during their weeks at the school. The Principal, Mr Maka, has made significant improvements in the quality of teaching, the timetable and administrative systems. He is gathering around him a core of dedicated and experienced teachers, and we have high hopes for a continuing rise in standards in the future.
Another major contributor to this aspect has been Mr Robyn Fleming, recently retired Deputy Headmaster of King’s College, who spent 7 weeks at the end of 2014 working at St Andrew’s. He concentrated on developing administrative systems and the house system, and training for school prefects.
In October, St Andrew’s Church, Epsom, together with Dr Kay Hawk, organised and funded a visit to six Auckland schools by the St Andrew’s principal, Mo’unga Maka, and deputy principal Paea Tauaika. They were able to meet with school leaders and staff and gain insights into how New Zealand schools operate.
It is most significant that St Andrew’s external examination results for 2014 were the best for many years, with more A+ passes than at any time in memory.
As a result, the roll for 2015 seems set to increase by up to 25%.
In 2014 five groups of volunteers totalling 50 people came to work at St Andrew’s. Three groups were church-based – from Holy Trinity Picton, the Christchurch Reformed Church, and St Andrew’s Epsom. Another group was organised by us, and the fifth group was from King’s College.
This was the second King’s College group to visit, and a third group is coming in 2015. The relationship with King’s is a most valuable one, as it opens up many possibilities of interaction beyond the actual visits by student parties. King’s has been very proactive in sourcing equipment and materials for use at St Andrew’s, and has already contributed in many different ways.
Volunteers worked on practical projects, in the classroom, on the sports field, in chapel and individually with students, and all found it a very significant experience.
Major projects in 2014
The Trust’s relationship with the New Zealand High Commission in Tonga continues to flourish. The High Commissioner funded part of the largest project in 2014 – the installation of a new drainage system to help prevent the school grounds flooding during heavy rain. Flooding has been a problem since the school was built on this site in 1971, and has frequently led to temporary closure of the school. The project’s other funding came from the St Andrew’s Ex-Students Association, and the school staff, parents and students provided labour and equipment. The project was difficult and exhausting, but ultimately successful in removing flood water from much of the school grounds.
A second major project was the provision of a new enlarged computer system by computer firm Aiscorp of Wellington. Through its managing director, Elmar Gailitis, Aiscorp sent over 32 second-hand computers and other equipment in our container. As the inadequacies of the existing system became apparent, Aiscorp then went on to provide a larger server, cable and more equipment. Computer hardware was donated by Heretaunga College, Aotea College, and Online Communications (Welligton).
Aiscorp finally paid for one of their technicians to fly over to the school for five days to install the new system. There is now a second computer lab linked to the first one, with 16 more computers for students. Four computers have been installed in the staff room and three in the library. Staff and students were trained by the technician in using the new system which is one of the most up-to-date in any Tongan school.
Thanks to a grant from the David Ellison Charitable Trust – their third contribution to our project in three years – the Hornsby Trust’s volunteer workers were able to complete the renovation of the art room, staffroom, and other classrooms, and conversion of a classroom into the new computer lab.
The Ellison grant also funded the building of more desks and benches, and other maintenance work around the school. It is with much sadness that we report the death of David Ellison, the Trust’s founder. His generosity and keen interest in St Andrew’s were an inspiration to us all. His Trust will continue its charitable work into the future.
For the third year running the Henry and William Williams Trust paid for our share of the shipping costs for the container (we used only half a container in 2014). This enabled the Hornsby Trust to bring over a myriad of supplies to the school – educational resources, computers, whiteboards, tools, stationery, text books, sports gear, pumps and pipes, household appliances and kitchen equipment etc. Some of the donated resources were handed on to the local Anglican kindergarten, some to the Mango Tree (a centre for disabled children and adults) and some to the psychiatric ward at Vaiola Hospital in Nuku’alofa.
Legal work to set up the Hornsby Trust was provided at no charge by Jackson Russell Lawyers (Auckland).
The following work was done by volunteers in 2014:
· Storm-water drainage project – 100m of drain laid up to 2 metres deep with sumps and automatic pump
· Art room – new ceiling and lights installed, workbench renovated, permanent lockable storage room built, room repainted
· Staff room - new sink bench installed with tea making facilities, room repainted, new whiteboard and four staff computers installed
· New computer lab – classroom converted to become a second computer lab; doorway installed, cabling, computers, new server and Windows 8 installed
· Library – donated books sorted, librarian and staff trained in use of the library, three computers installed
· Home economics room – repainted and new whiteboard installed
· Classroom 14 – walls repainted, new whiteboard and display boards installed (all the others classrooms have received this treatment over the last two years)
· Lockable cupboards in classrooms for staff to keep resources in (six built so far)
· 365 missing panes of louvre glass cut to size and replaced in classroom windows
· 10 new desks and 15 new benches built for classroom use. Others repaired
· Exterior walls and woodwork repainted in various parts of the school
· Mentoring of school leadership team
· Professional development for staff
· Relief teaching in all subjects
· English reading groups for younger students
· Ukelele and yoga sessions
· Cycling and sports activities
· School accounts reviewed and last year’s annual accounts prepared in correct format, report prepared for the Board on the state of the school’s finances
· Second water supply at school piggery connected, using the well and portable pump to provide water for the pig pens, to complement the rainwater system installed last year
· Principal’s house – new water supply and toilet installed
As well as working hard with our volunteers, we enjoyed time off together, touring the main island of Tongatapu in the school truck, and visiting one of the nearby islands for a relaxing day off. Other cultural experiences included feasts and cultural shows, church services, school assemblies and overwhelming hospitality from the school staff and students.
The Hornsby Trust would like to thank the following for their contributions to the work at St Andrew’s in 2014:
NZ High Commission, Tonga
The David Ellison Charitable Trust
Henry and William Williams Memorial Trust
St Andrew's Parish, Epsom
Jackson Russell Lawyers, Auckland
Online Communications, Wellington
Mega Mitre10 Petone
Zip Plumbing Supplies, Wellington
Our many individual donors, churches and other organisations
Summary of progress at St Andrew’s
We have seen significant changes in the school’s academic side since the appointment a year ago of Mo’unga Maka as principal and the involvement of Dr Kay Hawk as adviser. The quality of teaching has improved, and there is more efficiency in timetabling and protection of teaching time. There is still much room for improvement, and we hope that the systems which Mr Robyn Fleming has recently introduced can be maintained. Using the new kitchen installed by volunteers in 2012, the school has permission to run catering and hospitality courses at secondary level. Corporal punishment is officially outlawed, but isolated incidences still occur and need attention.
The dramatic rise in external examination results has already been mentioned. This is the beginning of the planned academic revival at St Andrew’s, to complement the revival in facilities and equipment which has been our aim for the last four years.
The school’s financial position is still precarious. To improve this, the board has put in place a plan to collect unpaid fees from parents who can afford them and has plans to ensure that the school can claim the full amount of government subsidy for which it is eligible.
We can report that most of the major building and maintenance jobs that were on the school’s wish-list have been completed. The school has plans to appoint a caretaker who will be responsible for general maintenance, and will look after the work already done by volunteers. We await that development keenly.
Plans for the future
Because most of the major building and maintenance jobs have been completed, there is less need for the Hornsby Trust to organise and run large volunteer working parties, so these will be phased out until the need arises again. Smaller numbers of volunteers with specific skills will still be invited to work at the school, however.
The Trust will facilitate more visits by Dr Kay Hawk to undertake teacher development and to advise on academic and leadership matters at the school. Mr Robin Fleming will make another visit later in 2015 to observe progress with administrative systems and leadership training for students. Development of the capacity of the Board, of the school’s senior leadership team and of the teachers is the key task for the moment, but the Hornsby Trustees are aware that this is a long process.
The Hornsby Trustees will continue to raise financial support for present students of St Andrew’s to pay school fees, and for past students to undertake tertiary study. Funds will also be raised to pay for the limited amount of building and maintenance work to be done by next year’s volunteers, to buy materials and equipment where necessary, and to fund teacher development.
The Hornsby Trust has applied to the NZ Inland Revenue Department for Donee Status, so that NZ donors can receive tax rebates for donations made to the Trust. As soon as this is granted, the Trust intends to move from a project-funding model to the building up of a capital fund, and to support the school from the interest on that fund.
The St Andrew’s Board has invited the Hornsby Trustees to attend certain board meetings where possible each year, and will provide board minutes to the Trustees. This should ensure a closer planning relationship between the Trust and the school, so that the Trust’s assistance can be targeted more accurately than at present.
A summary of the Trust’s financial report for the year ended 31 December 2014 follows.
Prior to the setting up of the Hornsby Trust, funding for the St Andrew’s project was handled by the EdAid Charitable Trust. The balance of grants and donations held by them for St Andrew’s was transferred to the Hornsby Trust in early March 2014 and is shown as part of the Hornsby Trust’s income for the year ($16,685).
Readers will note that a surplus of $13,597 is shown for the year. This is higher than usual, because (1) several projects came in under budget, and (2) two projects were held over from 2014 until 2015.
Simon and Rachel Tipping
For other articles on the volunteers' work at St Andrew's, please see
Click on any photo to enlarge it